IMDb > The Maltese Falcon (1931)
The Maltese Falcon
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The Maltese Falcon (1931) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
7.5/10   1,914 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Dashiell Hammett (based on the novel by)
Maude Fulton (screen play & dialogue) ...
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Contact:
View company contact information for The Maltese Falcon on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 June 1931 (USA) See more »
Plot:
A lovely dame with dangerous lies employs the services of a private detective, who is quickly caught up in the mystery and intrigue of a statuette known as the Maltese Falcon. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Not bad, but a tad stale See more (33 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Bebe Daniels ... Ruth Wonderly

Ricardo Cortez ... Sam Spade
Dudley Digges ... Casper Gutman
Una Merkel ... Effie Perine
Robert Elliott ... Detective Lt. Dundy

Thelma Todd ... Iva Archer
Otto Matieson ... Dr. Joel Cairo
Walter Long ... Miles Archer

Dwight Frye ... Wilmer Cook
J. Farrell MacDonald ... Det. Sgt. Tom Polhouse
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Agostino Borgato ... Capt. John Jacobi (uncredited)
Tiny Jones ... Jailbird Seeking Cigarette (uncredited)
Cliff Saum ... Baggage Clerk (uncredited)
Morgan Wallace ... District Attorney (uncredited)
Lucille Ward ... Sarah - Prison Matron (uncredited)
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Directed by
Roy Del Ruth 
 
Writing credits
Dashiell Hammett (based on the novel by)

Maude Fulton (screen play & dialogue) &
Brown Holmes (screen play & dialogue)

Lucien Hubbard  uncredited

Cinematography by
William Rees (photography)
 
Film Editing by
George Marks (edited by)
 
Art Direction by
Robert M. Haas  (as Robert Haas)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Palmer Belmont .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Harry Davis .... second camera (uncredited)
Mac Julian .... still photographer (uncredited)
Frederick E. West .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Earl Luick .... wardrobe
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... conductor: Vitaphone Orchestra
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Dangerous Female" - USA (TV title)
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Runtime:
80 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Although not visible until the final reel, a portrait of Louise Brooks hangs in Spade's apartment, above his telephone.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: The same prop is used for the suitcase that Spade finds in Miss Wonderly's room and the suitcase which contains the falcon. The travel stickers are identical on each one.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Sam Spade:Bye-bye, honey. I'll see you later... Effie!
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Movie Connections:
Referenced in Footsteps in the Dark (1941)See more »

FAQ

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
Not bad, but a tad stale, 16 October 2006
Author: zetes from Saint Paul, MN

It might have been wise to watch the two earlier versions of Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon before I re-watched the 1941 classic. It would have reminded me just how great Huston's film is. The '31 version isn't bad, per se. It has the same major flaw that most films of this early talkie era had: leaden dialogue delivery. It's also a bit stagy, though by no means the worst I've seen from the time. None of the actors are as good as their '41 counterparts, with the possible exception of Bebe Daniels, most famous for her role in 42nd Street. She's a bit sexier than Mary Astor, and it's more believable that she could hold sway over men. I also thought Otto Matieson was pretty good as Joel Cairo. Una Merkel is very cute as Effie, Spade's secretary. Thelma Todd, of Marx Brothers' movies fame, also co-stars as Iva Archer. Ricardo Cortez plays Sam. He's a bit too nice for the part, like he should rather be starring in musicals (Daniels doesn't suffer this way – she's appropriately ruthless). The film only runs 78 minutes, but it feels a lot longer. It excises even more of the novel than Huston's version, but the pacing is really slow (the '41 movie runs 100 minutes). It seems the major success in Huston's movie – well, besides the awesome cast – was its lightning pacing. It also changes some things around at the end, if I remember right. I actually really liked the final sequence, not in the '41 version and (if memory serves me correctly) not in the novel, either, where Spade visits Ms. Wonderly (which isn't a pseudonym in this movie) in prison. I wouldn't say it surpasses the '41 version in any way, but then again I've never quite been satisfied with Spade's final exchanges with Brigid O'Shaughnessy either.

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Message Boards

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
What does the Chinese man say to Sam Spade? willieboyd2
Compare to Bogart's version? shopbuyshop
A Much More Handsome Falcon Chesterfield_Invincible
Is Ruth Wonderly... AnnaBulic
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1931 Version on DVD Wilhelm-Zwei
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